Baptism

Is Baptism Important?

Absolutely.
Baptism is a crucial step in becoming a disciple of Jesus. It signifies a willingness to become who He intended you to be. Throughout the book of Acts in the New Testament, every account of someone placing their faith in Jesus is accompanied by their baptism, which means a fresh start and a renewed relationship with God. Even Jesus himself underwent baptism.
Matthew 3:13-17
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment, heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Not only was Jesus baptized, but he tells us to baptize others:
I Peter 3:18-22
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made a proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.[e] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
Romans 6:1-5
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.

Who should be baptized?

To gain clarity on who should receive baptism, let us examine the verses that illustrate our dependence on Jesus:

  • Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
  • Romans 3:23 ... all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
  • Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Romans 10:9 ... if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
  • Acts 2:36-38 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
  • When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
  • Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
  • Galatians 3:26-27 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Baptism is a public confession of our commitment to follow Jesus. Through baptism, our sins are forgiven and cleansed according to the teachings in Acts 2:38 and Acts 22:16. We are also gifted the Holy Spirit, who raised Christ from the dead, as mentioned in Acts 2:38.

Baptism symbolizes our resurrection, as we are buried with Christ and raised to a new life, as stated in Romans 6. In baptism, we become children of God and put on the likeness of Christ, as mentioned in Galatians 3:26-27.


Are you ready for baptism?

Deciding to get baptized is a significant choice that requires thoughtful consideration. Here are some verses to help you determine if you are ready for baptism:

Mark 16:14-16

Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Baptism goes hand in hand with believing. To determine if you're ready for baptism, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you feel remorse for any actions that conflict with God's plan?
  • Do you believe Jesus is the Messiah and the only one who can save you from your sins and restore your relationship with God?
  • Are you eager to follow Him and lead a renewed and transformed life with the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

You're ready for baptism if you answered "Yes" to these questions!


What is the meaning of being in Christ?

The Bible teaches the act of being baptized and becoming one with Christ (Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3). It is recommended to read these verses and reflect on what it means to be united with Christ. These scriptures can guide you toward living a renewed life through the power of God within you.

John 15:1-8
Romans 3:24
Romans 8:1
Romans 12:1-3
Galatians 5:22-25
I Corinthians 12:12-20
II Corinthians 5:17
Philippians 2:1-5
Colossians 2:9-12
1 John 5:1-8  

BAPTISM FAQs

I was baptized as an infant; do I need to be baptized?
In the Bible, we see parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held and prayed for them and told us to welcome them. However, He didn't baptize or instruct anyone else to baptize them. Baptism is intended for those who personally trust Christ alone for their salvation. If you were baptized as a child, your parents likely hoped you would become a follower of Christ one day. Your adult baptism can be seen as fulfilling their wishes. This does not mean your childhood baptism was invalid, but rather that this time around, the decision is entirely yours.

If I am already following Christ, what's next? Why should I be baptized?
In the Bible, people are baptized upon their initial belief in Christ. However, it is possible that one may not have been baptized at the time of their initial following of Christ. It is worth noting that if anyone did not require baptism for the forgiveness of sins, it was Jesus, which is acknowledged by John when he baptized Jesus at the Jordan. John attempted to dissuade him, stating "It is I who should be baptized by you, yet you come to me?”

Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. (Matthew 3:13-15)

Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. If you follow Jesus, we encourage you to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness. If Jesus was baptized and your desire is to be like Jesus, then be like Jesus and be baptized.

I'm unsure about getting baptized; what should I do?
Baptism is an important decision to mark a faith commitment to Jesus Christ, making Him your Lord and Savior. It's essential to commit your life to Him. If you feel unsure about your readiness, taking time to pray and reflect before deciding is helpful.

Do I need to get baptized publicly?

We hope that everyone who undergoes baptism will choose to do it publicly. Doing so serves two purposes: to profess your love for God before those you care about and to set an example for those who have yet to accept Christ. For some, witnessing your baptism could be the start of their own journey towards following God's plan for their life.

Who will baptize me?
You don't have to rely on Local staff for your baptism. Any person baptized as a follower of Christ can carry out the baptism for you.  It is encouraged to select someone who has played a significant part in your spiritual growth, like a friend, family member, or fellow member of your community group, who has mentored you along the way.

What should I wear when I get baptized?
On the day of your baptism, please wear dark shorts and a shirt provided by the Local Next Steps. You can wear whatever you like underneath. For men, shorts or swim trunks are appropriate. For women, a swimsuit is recommended. A coordinator will contact you to schedule and assist with your baptism. We encourage you to invite your loved ones to attend and join in the celebration.

Baptism Registration